CIT/CBI Bracketology Number 5 February 21 2019

By: Ethan Hennessy
We have finally arrived at late February. Only a handful of games remain in the regular season, and conference tournaments are right around the corner. Prospective teams have started to get contacted by both tournaments. I myself have also done some contacting as I reached out to dozens of programs across the country this past week to get a sense of who might be participating in the CIT or CBI.

I am in my second season doing CIT/CBI bracketology for Happening Hoops. I do this because I genuinely enjoy following these tournaments, and believe they do not get a ton of coverage despite some good teams playing in them each year. In both 2017 and 2018 I was the first source to publicly break the majority of the fields for both tournaments.
In my final bracketology predictions for the 2018 fields I accurately predicted:
18/20 CIT teams and 9/16 CBI Teams.
The teams that get invited to these postseason tournaments are ones that failed to make the NCAA or NIT, and sometimes we do not know who is in and out of those tournaments until later in championship week. Also, teams must pay entry and hosting fees which deters some teams. Furthermore, in the CIT you are required a .500 record, and be a mid-major. Some coaches view these tournaments as good building blocks for their programs, and others do not, so that might lead one program to be more likely to turn down or accept a bid. Geography must also be factored into selection (you don’t want to have three teams on the west coast and all the rest on the east coast).
So with attempting to factor all of that information into this I will try to tell you who I think will be heading to the CIT and CBI this year. I also factor in which teams have accepted bids in the past years to one or both of the tournaments because that would indicate (assuming they meet the selection committee criteria) they are more likely to return. If they have long postseason droughts because this might make a team more likely to accept a bid to one of these tournaments. I will not consider teams that are leading their league at the time of this because they would be heading to the NCAA or NIT tournament (however we all know standings change often). Lastly, any inside information I hear about programs expressing interest in participating will be factored into these.

Any information on teams being offered, accepting, or declining bids to either tournament can be sent to
With both CIT and CBI teams they are not organized in any particular way just in alphabetical order of conferences.
CIT (20 teams last year)

  • UMBC (19-10 America East)
  • NJIT (19-9 ASUN)
  • Southern Utah (12-12 Big Sky)
  • Presbyterian (16-12 Big South)
  • Gardner Webb (18-10 Big South)
  • UCSB (17-8 Big West)
  • FAU (16-11 CUSA)
  • North Texas (20-7 CUSA)
  • IUPUI (14-13 Horizon)
  • Brown (15-9 Ivy)
  • Ball State (14-12 MAC)
  • ETSU (23-7 SoCon)
  • New Orleans (15-10 Southland)
  • Abilene Christian (21-5 Southland)
  • Grambling State (13-13 SWAC)
  • Fort Wayne (17-12 Summit)
  • Louisiana (16-10 Sun Belt)
  • San Diego (16-11 WCC)
  • California Baptist (14-10 WAC)
  • Utah Valley (17-8 WAC)

CBI (16 teams last year)

  • Stony Brook (21-7 America East)
  • Longwood (15-15 Big South)
  • Campbell (15-11 Big South)
  • FIU (16-11 CUSA)
  • UIC (14-13 Horizon)
  • Miami Ohio (14-12 MAC)
  • Valpo (14-14 MVC)
  • Saint Francis Brooklyn (16-13 NEC)
  • Austin Peay (19-8 OVC)
  • Jacksonville State (19-8 OVC)
  • Colgate (18-10 Patriot)
  • Texas Southern (14-11 SWAC)
  • Omaha (17-9 Summit)
  • Georgia Southern (17-10 Sun Belt)
  • Loyola Marymount (17-10 WCC)
  • GCU (15-10 WAC)


  1. Trace says:

    Love these smaller tournaments. Great for coaches to have more time with their players (build for next year), and players to enjoy the excitement of the post season.

    Liked by 2 people

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